"A long wait for nothing."

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

What I liked

Not much.

What could be improved

Communication to patients. At no stage was I told that we would have to wait over 3 hours to see a doctor. I needed a drip, so the nurses put a plastic needle in my arm and then just left me in a room for over an hour. There was no communication about how long it would take at all. There seemed to be a surplus of nurses who didn't do much and a lack of doctors. After waiting over 3 hours, with the needle still in my arm, I elected to discharge myself. Mine was not the worst case - there was a young man with a broken arm in obvious pain who was waiting as long as me. The nurses said a wait this long was not unusual. Better organisation is needed.

Anything else?

One man was getting very agitated as his mother was dying and the receptionist would not tell him where she was located. It seemed to me that only those on their death-bed got urgent attention.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to comment about your experience. I am sorry that it has not been upto the expected levels. There is a great deal of work going on at the Trust to address areas of under performance in the emergency care department - this work is also looking at how we improve communication with patients, visitors and relatives. I do hope that any future experience of A&E is more positive.

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